How can I Improve my Hearing?
Your audiologist is a great resource when it comes to improving your hearing. Not only can they diagnose hearing problems but they can suggest solutions. While the most obvious solution is typically hearing aids, be sure to ask your audiologist about other ways to improve your hearing.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can improve your hearing which you may wish to discuss further with your audiologist.
Entering a state of denial about hearing loss is pretty common. It’s estimated it takes the average person seven years from first suspecting they have hearing loss to taking action and getting a hearing test…but you don’t have to be like those people.
Don’t go into denial about hearing loss. Pretending you can hear clearly when you can’t fools no one, not even yourself. In addition, early action on hearing loss actually slows the rate of deterioration and protects your abilities for longer.
Protect your ears
Hearing loss can happen for many reasons, including damage cause by excess noise. It’s easy to overlook the damage caused by exposure to common sounds such as leaf blowers, lawn mowers or even traffic noise.
Think about any areas of your life which expose your ears to excessive noise. Either avoid them or wear discrete ear plugs so as to defend your hearing.
Face the problem
If you’ve ever had an ‘awkward’ phone call, you’ll appreciate how much we read faces and expressions to clue us into how people are feeling. In fact, we ‘read’ expressions and lip shapes far more than we realize, which helps us interpret what’s said to us.
This is never more important than when you suffer from hearing loss, as these extra clues can help us fill in the blanks. To get the most benefit stand facing the speaker with the light shining on their face (In other words, avoid dark corners and holding a conversation with someone behind you.)
Tell your family and friends you have hearing loss. This won’t affect how they feel about you but it will enable them to speak more clearly or turn the TV down when they want to speak. Small considerations can make the world of difference to your ability to catch the message.
Also, being honest with a partner about your hearing loss can reduce misunderstandings. When you don’t ‘fess up,’ they may misinterpret your lack of response to a question as you being awkward or disinterested. Whereas knowing you might not have heard can stop tension in its tracks.
Not everyone with mild hearing loss needs a hearing aid. There are ‘assistive devices’ that can amplify phone calls or a speaker at a meeting. Your audiologist can suggest those that may be appropriate to your needs.
And finally, let’s embrace the wonderful technology of modern hearing aids. Should you require one, but wish to keep it ‘your little secret,’ there are near invisible models that fit full within the canal.